By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
Catholic school divisions within the province of Saskatchewan are celebrating Catholic Education Week like never before.
Marking the week May 17-24, 2020 – including World Catholic Education Day on Ascension Thursday, May 21 – in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic means that schools are operating very differently this year.
After weeks of school closures because of COVID-19 restrictions, the government of Saskatchewan announced May 7 that in-person classes will not resume at all this school year. Catholic school divisions have therefore continued alternate methods of teaching, using online resources and other long-distance means of staying connected to students. In addition, public celebrations of graduations are cancelled, with school districts finding other “virtual” ways to mark the achievements of the Class of 2020.
In the midst of this challenging time, Catholic schools continue to live out their mission to proclaim the hope of the Gospel and witness to the love of Jesus Christ. “The remote learning environment we are living in during Covid-19 times will be filled with our theme, Igniting Hope, during the week of May 17-24,” states a Catholic Education Week announcement from Saskatchewan Catholic schools. Platforms this year will include video conferencing, social media, e-mail and websites, with daily prayer and reflection on various sub-themes:
- Our Hope in Christ
- The Hope Within Us
- The Hope Among Us
- Hope For the World
- A Future Full of Hope.
In addition, a province-wide liturgy on World Catholic Education Day will be live-streamed – as well as being recorded for future viewing online – led by Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina, held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 21 from Resurrection Parish in Regina. To pray live or later go to: LINK to live-stream video.
In their message for Catholic Education Week 2020, the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan reflected on the 2020 theme Igniting Hope.
“In every time and season, the hope perennially ignited by Catholic education is grounded in the “reason for the hope in us” (1 Peter 3:15) – the Good News of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is a hope needed more than ever in our lives and in our world during these times of COVID-19 challenge, suffering and difficulty,” wrote the bishops
In their message, the Saskatchewan bishops also noted: “Catholic education has always focused on the needs of students as they face our world of today. We are to be for them a beacon of this Light of Christ that they need as they journey through their life, accompanying and transcending lectures and bookwork.”
The bishops ended in words of prayer and thanksgiving: “Please join us in giving thanks to God for the gift of Catholic education and its unique contribution in our province and our communities. We pray as well for the continuing existence and protection of publicly-funded Catholic education in Saskatchewan, and for hope and perseverance for educators, students and families who are navigating the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. “
Find more information about Catholic Schools in the province at: https://www.scsba.ca
For information about Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, including COVID-19 updates and information about registering children in Catholic schools in Saskatoon, Humboldt, Martensville Warman and Biggar in the fall, see: https://www.gscs.ca